The first Individual race of the season took place last night under the lights in Ostersund. The weather turned more wintry over the past days leaving the tracks in good shape under clear skies and -6 degrees Celsius temps. I went into the race with the hopes of a top twenty but also the knowledge that this is the just first of many world cups to come.
This particular 20km course is infamous for its monster uninterrupted climb at the back of each 4km loop. In years past, I’ve overpaced at the beginning and not left enough stamina for the final few laps. This year, I wanted to ski even loops throughout and so I went out fairly conservative. I sacrificed more than I would have like on the first loop but the rest of the race went pretty well on the skis. In the range, I hit 17 of 20, an average day but not good enough to get me into the top 30.
I’m satisfied with the result and feel confident in my preparation for the season moving towards world champs. My coaches and I have structured the training a little less aggressively as last year in the hopes of building into the season and maintaining a longer stretch of high-level skiing than I achieved last year. With that in mind, I’m ready to build on this start and I’m ready for the Sprint and Pursuit this weekend.